Damien Cabanes & Yazid Oulab
Damien Cabanes & Yazid Oulab
Past: May 18 → June 22, 2013
The current exhibition brings together some of Damien Cabanes’ recent oil paintings. At the back of the gallery, a large painting of 4m50 shows the interiors of a workshop : it is that of the artist. After numerous cancellations by his usual models, tired, Damien Cabanes decides one day to paint what is right in front of his eyes : his studio. The free canvases are there, hooked on the wall one next to another forming a surprisingly peculiar composition that the artist will take as a pretext to his paintings. This time it is no longer models that pose but moreover, the paintings themselves.
This painting within a painting is the subject of our exhibition. As Jean Luc Godard’s 1963 film Le Mépris put Fritz Lang in a scene as himself when creating a film about Ulysses, or in Passion, 1982, which, recounts the story of the making of a film itself entitled “Passion”, Damien Cabanes will replay his works on a lengthened canvas that alludes to the format of CinémaScope. The artist’s interest for cinema directors without doubt isn’t foreign to this intuition, a format that evokes the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper as well. But the exhibition does not end there. Looking at “The Last Supper reconstructed”, all the canvases “repaints” the contents of The Last Supper which, served as models that day and will be exhibited next to the paintings on the walls of the gallery. Therefore we can see the shape of an exploded Cabanes à la Daniel Buren where the first gesture would be two dimensional, then spatializes. These paintings remind us of Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo where Jeff Daniels shouts across to Mia Farrow in the movie theatre from the film then exits the screen to enter into the real world In accordance to this scene, Damien Cabanes’ works also lead us from the universe of representation and the object towards something more poetic; of daydreams and a motionless voyage.
Yazid Oulab has always exprimented with artisanal tools. Recently, he has produced a series of abstract drawings created with graphite attached to a drill. The result is a myriad of points that elevate itself as whirlwinds, a swarm, reminding him of racing electrons and thus the origin of matter. He therefore begins asking himself where these discovered images originate from. An iconological reference of an image of Christ on a cross establishes itself. When we take into consideration the position of the hands in certain drawings, they refer to Hindu or Buddhist iconography : the Mudras, or to the oral prescriptions of the Muslim tradition called Hadîths. In certain drawings, Yazid Oulab references the gestuality of whirling dervishes with the right hand elevated straight towards the heavens to gather the grace of Allah and the left steered towards the earth to spread it. An image of Christ raising his arms pleading to the divine power that invites us to rise : to turn us towards the divine. The Muslim doctrine self inscribes itself in this Christian tradition.